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Updated: June 10, 2021 at 1:43 pm
Shortly after midnight Wednesday, the New York State Assembly passed an aftercare bill which prohibits the slaughter of racehorses and racehorse breeding stock, requires that racehorses be microchipped, and provides tax incentives for Thoroughbred aftercare donations on tax returns.
The bill will now be sent to Governor Andrew Cuomo for his signature.
Specifically, the bill includes the following:
- Prohibition of the slaughter of racehorses and racehorse breeding stock.
- Violations are misdemeanors punishable by $1000 fine per horse or $2500 per business entity. (Doubled for second violations)
- Violations are subject to Gaming Commission license implications.
- Fines collected will go the State Breeding Fund to be deposited solely for aftercare contributions.
- As of Jan 1, 2022: owners shall be responsible for proper documentation of transfer of ownership. Liability is limited to the last individual in the chain of ownership, determined by the breed registry (The Jockey Club). Owners shall be required to provide notification of said sales to The Jockey Club registry in order to document ownership and liability.
- The State, Gaming Commission, Breeding Funds, and Ag and Markets shall develop a program to disseminate information about the provisions of law to horse owners, sellers, buyers and transporters.
- No horse shall be eligible to compete in any race unless its microchipped and registered with The Jockey Club.
- Breeding stock shall be microchipped.
- A taxpayer may elect to contribute or gift to aftercare through the Breeding Fund with the contribution considered a donation.
The New York Racing Association has an existing anti-slaughter policy in effect, whereby any owner or trainer stabled at a NYRA facility found to have sold a horse for slaughter will have his or her stalls permanently revoked from all NYRA tracks. NYRA also requires its horsemen to do due diligence in the release of horses from their care.
The bill’s passage was met with praise from officials in New York.
“This legislation positions New York as the national leader when it comes to responsibly protecting our retired racehorses,” said NYRA President & CEO David O’Rourke. “NYRA is proud to have long supported all elements of this important legislation because it reflects our commitment to thoroughbred aftercare. We thank Senator Joe Addabbo and Assembly Member Gary Pretlow, Chairs of the Senate and Assembly Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committees, for prioritizing the health and safety of thoroughbreds in New York.”
Said NYTHA President Joe Appelbaum, “NYTHA and all our members are gratified that we are able to work with animal advocates both within the sport and in the legislature to achieve this historic legislation benefitting horses that are bred and raced in New York.”